Last september Tate Britain present the most substantial survey to date of work by Rachel Whiteread, one of the leading artists of her generation. It will reveal the extraordinary breadth of her career over three decades, from the four early sculptures shown in her first solo show in 1988 to Works made this year especially for Tate Britain. Known for her signature casting technique, Whiteread’s work ranges in scale from the monumental to the intimate in a variety of materials such as plaster, resin, rubber, concrete, metal and paper.
Rachel Whiteread first rose to wide public attention with the unveiling of her first public commission. House in London’s East End in 1993. A concrete cast of the interior of an entire terraced house, House only stood for a few months before its demolition, but was a landmark public sculpture for London and has come to epitomise Whiteread’s lifelong project as an artist: fusing everyday architectural and domestic forms with personal and universal human experiences and memories.
In a vast 1,500m² open gallery space, some of Whiteread’s most important large scale sculptures will be shown alongside her more intimate works. These will include Untitled (Book Corridors) 1997-8 and Untitled (Room 101) 2003- a cast of the room at the BBC’s broadcasting House thought to be the model for Room 101 in George Orwell’s dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty Four. A range of smaller sculptures will include casts in different materials and colours from architectural features such as floors, doors and windows to domestic objects such as tables, boxes and a selection of Torsos, Whiteread’s casts of hot water bottles.
Another highlight of the exhibition is Untitled (One Hundred Spaces) 1995 – an installation of 100 resin casts of the underside of chairs – shown in Tate Britain’s Duveen galleries. Special sections will also be devoted to archive material and to the artist’s drawings. Working with pencil, varnish, correction fluid, watercolour and collage, these works on paper constitute a distinct area of Whiteread’s practice and are an intimate part of her artistic process in producing her sculptural work.